Parties with a Purpose with Guest Clare Smith

It is our last day for guests here on our hospitality online study. But we aren’t done yet!

Be sure to tune in Monday when all the winners from the past three weeks’ posts will be announced and I’ll also have one other fun announcement that involves you! (Especially those of you still waiting for your books :-()

Today, meet my friend Clare Smith. I LOVE how she took an interest of hers and turned it into a way to reach out to others and host a party with a purpose. I hope her post inspires you to do the same!

Clare and her husband and 2 children live in Northeast Ohio. She has her bachelor’s degree in business management and left a promising career to be a stay-at-home mom to her children. She is a certified fitness instructor and teaches pilates and group fitness classes at her church and local university.

Clare’s passion (outside of raising and nurturing her children and home) is motivating women of all ages and stages of life to live well physically, emotionally and spiritually. Visit her at Peak313 and on Facebook!

From Clare’s heart:

I have to be honest with you. “Hospitality” isn’t one of my greatest strengths.

I get caught up in a lot of things that prevent me from doing it: the size of our house, the need for lots of food and the way that my house is (or isn’t) decorated.

However God has given me a way to exercise hospitality that makes me not think twice about any of those roadblocks via one of my passions—Pilates!

I am a group exercise instructor and one of the classes I teach is pilates at a local university. I’ve been doing it for almost 5 years and I never expected it to provide me an opportunity to minister to others in my home!

College students are usually in need of 2 things: a change of scenery and good food! (You remember that well, right?) So I take advantage of that and have them over once or twice a year and give them snacks here and there!

I’ve been able to use this time to encourage these college students by laughing with them, answering their questions or just listening to everything they have on their heart. It’s good for me to get out of my life and into someone else’s and I really enjoy talking with them.

I usually try and make them something around exam time and snack mixes have been a real hit! Here are 2 I’ve done before.

“Healthy Snack Mix”

And around Christmas time,

“Santa’s Snack Mix”

I also enjoy having them in the house for a small meal and break from their studies. Here we are last year!


Unfortunately they have to graduate, which makes me very sad, but thanks to modern technology, I keep in contact with many of them!
I’ve attended their graduations and even a wedding! It brings me such joy to be a part of their lives and I’m thankful that God has used something I love to be the vehicle in which to do that!

So today I ask you, is there someone that God has put in your path to encourage?
Maybe it’s through a very unique situation, or maybe the person themselves, is very “unique”.
Ask Him who you could reach out, put your arms around and invite into your home. You might be surprised at the answer you get!

Thanks Clare!

Ok girls–leave a comment telling us a group of people (or even a single person) that  you could either reach out to with a small gesture (like Clare’s snack mixes) or invite to your home for a get-together. With whom does your path naturally cross?

One of you will be chosen at random to win a $15 Target card to purchase some items to do just that!

Have a blessed Easter & we’ll see you Monday for the announcements!

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143 Comments

  1. Good morning Karen,

    Just read Clare’s story and how she has been able to share her hospitality and obviously loving and nurturing nature with her students was a true blessing to me as well. I recently retired from our University but did not really have much interaction with the students and had to tread very carefully around my Christian values and beliefs and yet still be loving towards all regardless of theirs, which we are also called to do. My retirement years are a great reward after nearly 50 years of working, starting of course when I was in HS! But I have taken on a hobby which I dearly love and wish to share with others and her way of being a gracious hostess were inspirations for me to be the same. Thank you Clare for sharing.

  2. This is my favorite! Probably because my daughter is a senior in college in Indiana and we now live in Central VA and yesterday for Easter dinner she ate a leftover hamburger from her job the night before at Cracker Barrel. : ( That made me sad…she did attend church that morning with an adult coworker from her university. Having been in youth ministry prior to now being a pastor’s wife we have done a lot of loving on college students. I try and send homemade cookies once a year to the freshman. I don’t always meet that goal. Our church does a “Be the Church” Day twice or so a year. Groups go out into the community and do yard work, odd jobs for people who may need help, low income, or just going through a difficulty. There usually is an inside crew that does some kind of care packages or something. They have sent things to the college kids, nursing homes, wait staff at the I-Hop where the men have their weekly breakfast, and all the teachers and staff of our local schools in the past. Thanks for more good ideas! Blessings!

  3. We have teens in our home often for food, fun & fellowship! I also do almost the exact same thing with the snack mixes & bible verses….I make them up like that and mail them to our daughters & their friends away at college out of state.

  4. My husband and I teach confirmation at our church Wednesday nights to a group of “hungry” 14 & 15 year olds. I love Clare’s idea for snacks with God’s message attached to it. We usually have these kids over before their midterm and final confirmation exam for homemade pizza and ice cream sundaes. Her idea would fit right in with an encouraging message reminding these kids they can do all things through Christ! Thank you for your great ideas!

  5. We keep my son’s best friend after school during the week until his mom gets off work. We could invite him over for an hour or two on a Saturday so she can have a bit to herself. She works all the time and surely wants to spend time with her son, but a mamma can only do so much.

  6. I am going to give this some serious thought and ask God to help lead me on this one. I know he will use me where he see’s that I will best fit. I love kids and I feel that tugging on my heart. thank you so much for the encouraging words. Blessing to you!

  7. There is a family we’re good friends with who just adopted a little girl and then once they got her home found out that their home was full of mold, which the mom is allergic too. They had to do an emergency move over Easter, we would bless them.

  8. What a great devotion – I, too, am a fitness instructor, and I love to try to think of ways to help minister to my customers! My customers are an older group and they enjoy the little things I say to help encourage them on their road to fitness! I send postcards and letters to help motivate them and then on holidays, I enjoy making little treats for them to reward them for their hard work! I remind them that their body is their holy temple and that their dedication to taking care of themselves will be rewarded!

  9. I drive the van for our church. These children are unchurched and most are unloved, poverity stricken. I try to send home snacks and sometimes food with them. But this week, I ‘m gonna fix something extra special with scripture and give to them as they exit the van. Thanks for this.

  10. I would bless a group of girls my friend leads in a Proverbs 31 study. They live in the projects in our area and are just now seeing God’s feet in action. The fact that my friend shows up each week to meet with them speaks volumes to them and I would love the opportunity to help out more often!

  11. We have a “new” neighbor across the street. If I don’t doing something to take over & meet them pretty soon, they will be celebrating their one year anniversary in our neighborhood before I get to it. Thanks for the nudge!

  12. My daughter is in college and has a group of her “art friends”. : -) They have several projects due over the next 3 weeks and are feeling “stressed”.
    I loved the snack mix with the verse from Phil. about not worrying.
    I think I will do a bag for each one in the group!
    Thank you!!!

  13. I have been struggling with this very question since I began following this study! I think that I would like to invite my teenage daughter’s friends over to our house more often, as well as my friends and aquaintances. I truly struggle with choosing not to entertain as I am overwhelmed by the amount of work I would need to put in to have it be successful in my mind. I have been convicted by this study, and am looking forward to having people over & enjoying their company :)

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